Birth Rites Collection

land of endless statues opentracing

Land of Endless Statues

Helen Knowles, 2008, Artist Book, 21 x 35 cm

Helen Knowles created this book working with St Anne’s RC Primary School in Ancoats, Manchester. The sessions began by talking about how the first humans were created. The children described their own, and their families, ideas, speaking about evolution and Adam and Eve. They were then read creation myths from around the world including a Teutonic myth, the birth of Buddha from Queen Maya's side, the Greek myth of Prometheus creating the first man, and a story from Mozambique about the god Muluku.

The children modeled these stories in clay helped by ceramicist Jane Knowles. The sculptures were fired and documented photographically. Phoebe Mortimer wrote a children’s story directly inspired by these sessions, whereby a young girl wakes up in a landscape of endless statues and has to decide which creation myths she belongs to. This story is illustrated by a landscape drawn and screen printed by Helen Knowles interspersed with the children’s own images.

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